Opponents of a proposal requiring some insurance plans to cover autism diagnosis and treatment outline why they don’t want to do it.

Proponents have told state senators why the legislature must require insurance companies to provide the coverage, especially for a treatment known as Applied Behavior Analysis, which is known to help, especially when people are young.

Opponents such as Brent Butler of the Missouri Insurance Coalation argue that Applied Behavior Analysis is an educational program, not a medical or therapy program and is not something insurance should cover. "We would love to see all the children get the services they need. The question is how do you pay for them…There are some problems in some of the schools and I sure wish they could be in all of the schools," he tells a senate committee.

Supporters say that mandating the insurance would only increase group health insurance rates by one percent. Insurance company opponents say the figure is closer to two-and-a-half percent.

Insurance companies also say the bill would only cover twelve to twenty percent of Missouri’s autism families. Sponsor Scott Rupp, who headed a blue ribbon autism task force two years ago, says his bill is a "work in progress," but he still wants to have it debated this year.

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